Welcome to New York State Psychological Association!
Mandatory Continuing Education:
Where Do We Go From Here?
John Northman, PhD, ABPP
Chair, NYSPA Legislative Committee
Mandatory continuing education for psychologists was enacted into state law in 2018, and it is to take effect in 2021. The years in between --- 2019 and 2020 --- have put matters in somewhat of a “holding pattern.” As I have written on previous occasions, it is now the task of the State Education Department to develop the specific regulations, based on the law. The regulations are the “fine print,” in this case the specific details regarding matters such as requirements to become an approved CE sponsor, what activities count toward CE credits, etc.
Our lobbyist has advised us that SED will approach the task of drafting regulations in 2020. Thus the current year of 2019 presents as a “holding pattern”, at least from the perspective of SED and the drafting of regulations.
So where does NYSPA fit in, and what role can we play in the drafting of these yet-to-be-written regulations? The answers are straightforward: 1) NYSPA will have input, and 2) Final decisions on regulations reside with SED.
The CE Subcommittee, so capably chaired by Dr. Rafael Javier, has been tasked with shaping and drafting NYSPA’s input concerning proposed regulations. I invite any region, any division, or any individual NYSPA member to contact Dr. Javier with suggestions, preferences or concerns regarding regulations. (Dr. Javier’s email: JavierR@stjohns.edu.) I wish to note that Dr. Javier and the CE Subcommittee did an excellent job in gathering information and then shaping NYSPA’s input into the CE bill, and this was reflected in the final bill that was ultimately passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. I have the utmost confidence that the CE Subcommittee will undertake the current task with the same conscientious, thorough approach.
As the CE Subcommittee moves forward, I anticipate they will be making regular reports to the Legislative Committee, which in turn will share these reports with Council.
The final step for NYSPA in the regulatory process is presenting and sharing NYSPA’s input with SED. This task primarily resides with our lobbyist (Jackson Lewis) and NYSPA’s Director of Professional Affairs (Dr. Jerry Grodin). NYSPA is fortunate that both our lobbyist and our DPA are capable, knowledgeable, well connected and highly respected as they advocate for NYSPA within the corridors of Albany.
Thank you for your interest in NYSPA and the legislative process. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
NYSPA's 2019 Lobby Day
Once again we had a wonderful Lobby Day! We had approximately 20 members participating this year. We met with various NYS Legislators and/or their staff members and presented our priority bills expressing either our support or opposition to each of them. Some staff members were familiar with our bills while others were hearing about some of them for the first time. They all appreciated our informative explanations to our positions and for the packet they received from us with information about our priority bills and our positions. They also appreciate another copy of our Opioid White paper and our booklet of how to deal with distress constituents. At the end of the day there is always a sense of satisfaction that we did good to our discipline and to the people we serve. Below please find some impressions from some of our participant.
“Lobby Day was fun! I got to hang out with friends, from across the state. We met with some awesome legislators who CHOSE to run for office so that they could serve the citizens of their neighborhoods, towns and regions. The NYSPA advocacy leadership was organized, informed and ready. The group got a briefing on our talking points. We broke out into small groups. We were handed a prepared schedule of eight or so meet ups with individual law makers, each about thirty minutes long. Long enough to voice our concerns and hear theirs; short enough to not go into a coma.”
“I believe deeply in the profession of Psychology and all the unique applied roles psychologists fill academically, in research, in the workplace and clinically. Participating in Lobby Day makes me very proud. I see it as an opportunity to educate key public leaders in all that psychology does for the citizens of New York and to be perfectly honest, to brag a little.” - Elvira Aletta
“Lobby Day was NYSPA at its finest! We established new contacts with our legislators, and furthered our relationships with existing contacts. Legislators noted that they appreciate knowing about us as a resource. Not only did we excel at relationship building, we also got some firm commitments on sponsorship for our bills!” - Jeanette Sawyer-Cohen
“It is a privilege to participate in such a unifying and positive NYSPA function, especially to get a chance to catch up, and work together once again, with friends from across NYS.” - Mark Grey
“Lobby day was such a powerful experience. It was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues as well as showcase what our profession has to offer. The legislators were receptive and interested in our ideas which bodes well for the legislation we support and oppose but also bodes well for our profession.” - Deborah De Santis-Moniaci
"Lobby Day was always this event that I could not quite fully conceptualize. I knew it was an important day to help support psychology as a field, but I did not entirely grasp how the power to effect change and to ensure stability actually falls within our hands as the general NYSPA membership. Having attended Lobby Day for the first time this year, I came to realize the impact we psychologists make and how the responsibility to do so truly relies upon us. You don't have to be a political genius who understands the ins and outs of these policies and bills; you just have to want to protect this profession and to help those who have a direct influence on the legal side of things to see and understand what we do and why we deserve to be carefully considered when legislature that could impact us is up for vote (and boy was it scary to learn how many proposed bills are out there that could quickly hurt our field!). After this experience, I hope to be able to attend Lobby Day every year and absolutely plan to assist NYSPA with educating and encouraging other New York state psychologists to see that if we want to see things happen for our field, it is truly up to us - there really is no one else out there at the Capital fighting for what we want and need." - Michelle Woogen
Last but not least, our own Virginia Waters stated, “My musings on Lobby Day took the form of a haiku.” Here it is:
Lobby Day Haiku
NYSPA’s Lobby Day
Calls us to unite and serve
As a voice for all.
Like fireflies we
Gather to light the way for
Seeds to be planted
Advocacy and the growth
Join us and light the
Path to serve the public and
Grow our profession.
And with this I would like you to start saving the day for next year. Stay tuned!
Chair, Grassroots Sub-Committee
NYSPA Annual Convention- Important Update on Behalf of the Executive Committee
Dear NYSPA members,
As your President, I was elected to be a good steward of NYSPA. As many of you know, we are coming off a tumultuous year that had significant financial consequences. After careful consideration, the Executive Committee has decided that we should postpone the annual convention for this year. This decision was not made lightly, and we want to personally thank the Convention Committee, chaired by Deena Abbe, for the tireless hours they put into the planning of the convention. We also recognize central office and Lori Cote for their hard work in supporting the convention. We would like to acknowledge all of our members who stepped forward by agreeing to present, by supporting the convention through sponsorships, or were planning on attending. Their willingness to participate should be commended.
Even without the convention, the work of NYSPA continues. Our legislative agenda and voice will still be heard as Lobby Day is in Albany on May 6-7 and I encourage all to join us. In addition, we have a full calendar of NYSPA sponsored events over the next several months. Most importantly, we are now embarking on a new path in the history of this great organization. We are hiring an association management firm which will be able to not only provide the kinds of administrative support that we need, but also can provide expertise in how to create an even more effective organization. We look forward to their ideas and guidance.
While no cancellation is welcomed, we will use this as an opportunity to ensure that NYSPA is on solid financial ground and is able to sustain itself in a prudent manner. As we look forward to next year, NYSPA’s 100th anniversary, we will have much to celebrate as we value the past and look toward the future.
Alan Hack, Ph.D.
Moving Forward Together
The 2018 Winter Issue of the NYS Psychologist is now available. Click here to view.